Those who are ignorant of the great principles of the Universe make many mistakes, and these mistakes bring peculiar and hard conditions into their environment. The promise is that we shall know the Truth and through this knowledge shall be freed. As soon as fundamental principles are perceived, our thoughts and actions change to accord with the new perception.
This laying hold of Truth, and embodying it in the day’s experience is called living the new life.
It is a life new to us, when it is first attempted, but surely it is the kind of living that must be the Divine Intent for us.
However, into this Eden of new perception, new endeavor, and new realization of good, there sometimes slips the serpent of discord; and we wonder why, for we have supposed the day of problems to be over. While strides of progress are rapid in the early stages of the new life, we do not slough off at once the old habits of thought. Then, too, we are surrounded by suggestions of former conditions, and these make a strong appeal to us owing to our former firmly fixed beliefs. Therefore, even after our vision of Truth is quite clear, there is still work ahead of us, the work of outgrowing the deeply rooted undesirable habits of thought and feeling.
There are many who have attained heights of spirituality in certain directions whose power and usefulness are greatly limited by temperament, infixed wrong habits of thought and feeling. If in the old way they were domineering, they may carry this habit into the new as dictatorialness and intolerance of others’ views. The old ambition to get ahead may now seem to them spiritual aspiration. Selfishness may be called by them, evolving ego. Self-indulgence, sensitiveness, and other traits may be translated into the new thought regime and prevent one’s attaining his highest.
Fortunately, Divine Science gives us a standard up to which we must measure. Jesus had this high ideal and gave it to us: “Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” This is lofty aspiration, and yet there can be nothing below it for us. If we wish to perfect ourselves in any line of human activity, we know that we must study and work. We must learn the principles that govern our work, and be true to these in practice. There is no achievement without this.
So it is with spiritual development; we must understand the principles of life, and practice these principles in our daily living.
There should be no discouragement to us in this high ideal and necessity for earnest endeavor that it entails.
We have within us and around us the great Presence, loving us, stimulating us, helping us with Its wonderful Power.
Then, too, the joy of attaining is so great; as great perhaps as attainment itself, and no one who is steadfast in endeavor can fail.
In our work for overcoming undesirable traits of disposition there is one splendid rule that helps us perceive rightly and rectify quickly any mistakes we are making. The rule is this: To make it our practice when a thought or feeling surges through us to ask the question, “Would God think this thought; would God feel this way?”
If our thought or feeling could not be entertained by the Mind of Infinite Wisdom and Love, it does not belong to us, for in our true nature we are God-like.
This is the simplest and most effective rule I know. Practiced persistently and serenely it opens one’s vision to his mental mistakes and brings to him the realization of his God-Being. This is joy ineffable. In this realization is soul satisfaction.
Nona L. Brooks Short Lessons in Divine Science